Can Seventh Graders Learn Fractions from a Web-Based Pedagogical Agent? Using Comparison Groups Thre Times Over Several Weeks

Can Seventh Graders Learn Fractions from a Web-Based Pedagogical Agent? Using Comparison Groups Thre Times Over Several Weeks

Shannon Adams (Memorial University, Canada), Bruce L. Mann (Memorial University, Canada) and Henry Schulz (Memorial University, Canada)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-732-4.ch021

Abstract

In this study, a Web-based pedagogical agent presented 7th grade students (n = 91) with examples and practice questions involving the multiplication and division of fractions. Pedagogical agents are animated, talking characters that can be made to introduce, guide or otherwise enhance educational Web sites. It was expected that school-age students using moving and talking pedagogical agents would retain more and find more creative solutions to problems than students in the other treatment conditions. A repeated measures-by-occasion research design was used to determine if the movement and or talking by the agent helped them learn to multiply and divide fractions. Results of the analyses showed that students learned from the pre-test to immediate post-test. But there were no effects for either modality (speech vs. text) or agent animation (movement vs. no movement). Consistent with a previous study with 7th grade students using educational multimedia (Mann, Newhouse, Pagram, Campbell, & Schulz, 2002) positive findings from using speech in educational multimedia may only be generalizable to adults and older adolescents. Implications are discussed regarding the instructional design of educational Web sites.

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